Calgary Flames

BREAKING: An arena deal for the Calgary Flames has been reached in principle

The Calgary Flames and the City of Calgary received some good news today. After months of waiting after the last arena deal was cancelled, a new arena deal was struck today, in principle. The major difference in this deal compared to the last? There are now three major parties in the deal, as opposed to just the City of Calgary and Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corportation (CSEC) in the first deal. The added party in this deal is the Alberta government, who made this announcement before the next provincial election in May. It appears to be an election play announcing it at this time, but city councilwoman Sonya Sharp described that the expectation is that the deal should be honoured by whomever is elected. Mayor Jyoti Gondek confirmed that the city councilors agreed to this deal unanimously earlier today.

Calgary Flames new arena cost breakdown

In total, the proposed project will total to $1.223 billion. The arena itself encompasses $800 million, and the reminder of the capital will be used for things like a new community arena, parking, plaza, infrastructure, among other things. So while the previous deal was focused mainly on a new arena, this new deal has a much larger focus on the entire district surrounding. The surrounding area is called the ‘Rivers District’ in the release today as shared by Adam MacVicar.

Event Centre$800M
Attached Parking$35.4M
Enclosed Plaza$9.5M
On-Site Public Realm$28.7M
Community Rink$52.8M
Transportation improvements, infrastructure, and other district benefits$238.4M
Other costs$58.5M

Also shared were the cost splits between the City of Calgary, CSEC, and the Province of Alberta, as well as commitments from the Calgary Stampede. The following is a verbatim breakdown, also from Adam MacVicar.

City of Calgary

  • $537.3 million to fund the development of the Event Centre, parking structure, the enclosed plaza, and 25% of the community rink.


  • $40 million upfront and $17 million per year (increasing 1% per year) over 35 years to offset Event Centre costs, parking, the enclosed plaza, and 25% of the community rink
  • This equates to $356 million in present value; $750+ million over the 35-year term
  • $1.5 million per year to community sports
  • This equates to $25 million in present value; $52.5 million over the 35-year term

Province of Alberta

  • $330.0 million
  • $300 million to fund transportation improvements, land, infrastructure and site enabling costs, including off-site and on-site utility servicing costs, public realm, and site clearing/demolition
  • $30 million to fund 50% of the community rink

Calgary Stampede

  • Agreed to certain land sales and transfers that will allow for the development of the Event Centre that enables a vibrant entertainment district surrounding the Event Centre

From this information, the City of Calgary will cover roughly 44% of the costs, while CSEC and the Province will cover 29% and 27%, respectively.

What the proposed project and surrounding area will look like

Looking at the rendering below, we can see the Saddledome will be demolished to make parking space for the new arena. The event centre, depicted in pink, will be located roughly two blocks away from the current Saddledome. New buildings are represented in yellow, with a new underpass to be built on 6th Street.

A few other points from this deal

  • No property tax increases for residents of Calgary, confirmed by councilwoman Sonya Sharp.
  • CSEC President and CEO John Bean confirmed he spoke with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman today. In that conversation, Bettman confirmed that if this arena deal does go through, Calgary will re-enter the rotation of hosting NHL events, like the NHL Draft and All-Star Game.

Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire

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